A letter to my Son after the 2016 Election...
This morning we're waking up to the aftermath of arguably one of the most important elections to ever grace our history. For the first time a woman ran for the Oval Office. Her opponent, an uber rich business man and reality tv star. Truth be told, I don't believe either were good choices and the vast majority of the world would agree. When casting our ballot we were put between a rock and a hard place; ones a corrupt liar, the other...a crooked hate monger. The later won.
Last night upon hearing the results I sat in the dark of your bedroom rocking you to sleep while feeding you from my breast as tears fell into your hair. See, Trump, our new President, has said a lot of unforgivable things. Politics aside, he's a bully who demeans others based on their gender, race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and where they were born. I don't know what the next four years will look like politically but in the wake of this result many people feel afraid, me included. We are afraid because of what his taking office means for the beliefs of our nation in regards to the basic rights of humanity.
I'm writing to tell you that regardless of what you may hear to the contrary, there are things I know with absolute certainty; all human beings are created equal and deserve equal rights, dignity and respect.
The statements he's made against women are absolutely deplorable and you must know, without the female gender, we are nothing. Humanity simply does not exist without the womanly form. We are different from men in many ways and society has led us to believe those traits make women less than which couldn't be further from the truth. Women are embodied with immeasurable strength and creative power; from microscopic cells we bring forth life, nurture beings with our bodies and nothing compares to the warrior spirit of a woman protecting that which she holds dear to her soul.
Historically, this has frightened men thus women have been systematically oppressed. You are part of a legacy breaking this cycle. You will grow to understand that both sexes are necessary for us the thrive as a species. That neither holds superiority over the other. It's in an equal supportive and respectful partnership we are our greatest.
To address the more specific misogynistic claims Trump has made is harder because what I've just explained may seem like inherent beliefs but the world we live in will consistently try to convince you differently so I want to be sure to make clear some points. Consent is a required tenant of any relationship between two people, especially when anything of sexual nature is involved. It's respectful to ask permission before engaging in a hug where boundaries aren't established and absolutely unacceptable to do anything in sexual nature to another without their conscious and uncoersed yes. We have no right to another's body and each deserve respect for our autonomy. Anything communicating to the contrary is a blatant and hurtful lie.
There have also been comments made against all nonwhite races. The color of a one's skin is of no indication the kind of human being they are yet culturally, this is our scariest divider. Being born a white male you have been given an advantage over others based solely on your skin tone and it's your job to speak up for those who's voices are harder to hear. We are all human beings created equal by birth right no matter our pigmentation. Please interact within the world seeing only beautiful hues and ignoring all other stereotyping. Let a person speak to their own character.
Love is love and, at its core, all love is the same. It doesn't matter if you're a man/women, man/man or woman/woman...all love is valid and none of our damn business. Which ever way you choose to love will be your choice and the same support is to extended out into the world.
There are some people who feel they have been born into the wrong bodies and decide to make changes in the outside in order to feel whole on the inside. Again, this is none of our business and is has zero weight on how someone is to be treated with love, respect and dignity. People are people, end of story.
The longest raging battle of humanity is that of differing religious beliefs. There are groups in every belief system who have used their version of God as reasoning to ostracize, oppress and in extreme cases, hurt one another. The things I talked about before are born-into subcultures but as your religious affiliation is a conscious choice it's the area that invokes the most extreme violence. I'll let you in on a secret...regardless of the name given, the concept of a Higher Power is foundationally all the same. We're all just looking for something bigger to believe in and no one has any clue to the certain answer. People have the right to decide what avenue is the best fit for them and even when it's different or confusing or hard to understand deserve love and respect.
Some may argue here that some religions are dangerous, which is true, but nothing is perfect and any using their framework of rules as reasoning to spread hate is absolutely not acting in the name of any true God as God is only love. Anything else just needs more light shining in to align with more truth. There are extremists and radicals on any spectrum but that does not mean an overall religion deserves punishment; the last few years example being Muslim. You can have different beliefs from your fellow humans and still interact with kindness; I expect you to.
You, my love, were lucky enough to be born in the great country of the United States of America. When you go back to learn on the persuasive rhetoric that occurred in this Presidential race become clear that we never stopped being great. Being born here does not make you better than or with more right than anyone else to be here; it only means that you had a birth right of more privilege. Privilege means that nothing was ever taken away from anyone, meaning people aren't technically oppressed, you are just given more opportunities based on the things we've discussed; your maleness, white skin color, making no assumptions on your sexual orientation though your parents being heterosexual we were able to easily get married and suffer no discrimination as a result of our relationship. There were numerous hateful statements made about immigrants but our country was built on people coming to the US seeking a better life and more opportunities. You, too, are the product of immigrants on both sides; unless of pure Native American decent, we all are. The United States stands of liberty, freedom and safety in the pursuit of happiness. You just got it easy by being a born citizen; you're welcome and congrats.
Lastly, to address what by comparison to my previous points almost seems irrelevant but is still so important...someone's weight is of no consequence to their value or worth and is none of your business. Sexual assault is never something to be joked about and as a man I expect you to speak up, rape culture ends with men. Calling people names and making fun of others doesn't make you strong or tough, just a bully. There is nothing cool about hurting and demeaning people.
You can disagree with people but still engage in respectful discourse. Someone believing something different from you does not mean anything more than that, they are different than you. Being unique is what makes humanity so astoundingly beautiful. You will inevitably encounter people who seek to feed the fear but you always have the choice for tolerance. You don't have to respect someone to treat them with respect. Choose the high road.
I think that covers everything. Right now there is a lot of hate and fear going on and it seems there are people who thrive on the drama. It doesn't matter the person living in the White House, what matters is how you choose to be a presence in the world and your interactions, one on one, is what is going to have the greatest impact on our future. I wholeheartedly believe that world peace is possible and though I'm not sure I will see it in my own lifetime, I have faith in your generation can do amazing things.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Ghandi said that, he was single man who helped to change a nation for the better with peace and compassion. His words still echo loudly.
At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.
We can thank Maya Angelou for that one, she demanded only love and light from her fellow human. You have immeasurable power Son. It is my hope that you wield it for the greater good of all. I'll leave you with words from our man Sirius Black, an underdog in the fight for the better future,
We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.
Make wise choices and remember who you are.
I love you. -Mom
*Yes, you may share openly and freely.